American TV executives have fallen for the charms of Australia’s anarchic dog Wilfred, with news that the pilot has now been approved for a 13 part series on FX.
The comedy which began as a Tropfest film before being developed into a two season series on SBS stars co-creator Jason Gann in his original title role.
Playing alongside him is Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings) as neighbour to Wilfred and his female owner played by Fiona Gubelmann.
The all-talking, bong-smoking mutt still wears his run-down, mangy dog suit and is described as “part Labrador retriever and part Russell Crowe on a bender.” He also retains his Aussie accent.
The US pilot was directed by Randall Einhorn (The Office, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
The news is good for the Australians who helped bring Wilfred to life. Joe Connor and Ken Connor from Renegade Productions remain Co-Executive Producers while director Tony Rogers and co-star Adam Zwar are credited as co-creators. SBS will have first rights on showing the US series in Australia.
Zwar told TV Tonight, “I never thought that painful date I went on in 2001 with a woman and her recalcitrant half-labrador, half-dingo would keep on giving. Kudos to Renegade Films and everyone involved in the US production. But, most of all, thanks to the Aussie fans, who kept Wilfred alive from Tropfest to now.”
Cable network FX has screened such shows as The Shield, Nip / Tuck, Rescue Me, Damages, Sons of Anarchy and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
US adaptations of Australian series are rare, but include shows such as Kath and Kim and Prisoner. Mother and Son was also optioned by US producers but yet to reach screens.
Last year the cult show came under fire from Family First Senator Steve Fielding, who blasted the show for its crude comedy and waste of taxpayer funds.
Looks like the mutt is now having the last laugh.